Officials in Surry County, North Carolina, voted to remove Coca-Cola machines from all government facilities in response to comments from the beverage company's CEO about Georgia's controversial new voting law.
The ban was passed during a meeting of the Board of Commissioners on May 17 as a direct response to comments from Coca-Cola CEO James Quincy, which called the voting law "unacceptable" and "a step back".
Commissioner Ed Harris provided "Today" Digital with a copy of a letter he sent to Quincy, announcing the company's "corporate political commentary favoring the Democratic Party" and its decision to remove Coca-Cola machines from government facilities. of.
"Our Board felt that the best way was to take a stand and express our disappointment at the actions of Coca-Cola, which are not representative of the views of most of our citizens," he wrote. "Our Board hopes that other organizations across the country are taking a similar stance against Coca-Cola and sincerely wishes that future marketing efforts and comments emanating from your company focus more on the perspectives of all of your customers."
Quincy has been one of many voices speaking out against Georgia's new Republican-backed voting law, enacted in response to the 2020 presidential election by former President Donald Trump after the state lost the state by less than 12,000 votes. Coca-Cola is headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia.
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In a statement published on Coca-Cola's website on April 1, Quincy wrote, "Voting is a fundamental right in America, and we have long strived to make voting easier." Disappointed in the outcome of the Georgia voting law. During Georgia's legislative session, we provided feedback to members of both the legislative chambers and political parties, opposing measures in bills that would reduce or impede access to voting."
The new law extends the time for premature voting in a general election, but it creates even more hurdles for voters. Anyone who wishes to vote by absentee ballot will need to show a driver's license or state ID, and except that, present additional proof of their identity. Also, early voting drop boxes will be placed in early polling locations, rather than in additional locations that may be more convenient for some voters, such as local government buildings and libraries.
The law also takes away the authority of the secretary of state to oversee elections and instead creates a new chair of the state election board. In January, Trump called on Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, a Republican, and asked him to "find enough votes" to help Trump in the state. Raffensperger pushed back and continued to do his job.
In a letter to Quincy, Harris said the beverage company supports an "out-of-control cancel culture and radical leftist mob" when it chooses the social issues she wants to speak about.
"Michael Jordan once said 'Republicans buy sneakers too' when asked why he didn't make public comments about politics," Harris wrote. “Citizens in Surrey County and across America are moving from large multinational corporations and their CEOs to an increasingly intolerant, hardline, left-wing, divisive political agenda on their customers.”
A Coca-Cola spokesperson told "Today" Digital that the company is aware of the protests in Surry County.
"Representatives from our local bottlers have reached out to the county commissioners, and they look forward to continuing their productive conversations with those officials," a Coca-Cola spokesperson said in an email.